National Hog Farmer invited a diverse panel of industry experts to review new products introduced at the 2000 World Pork Expo.

This year's new products review panel included: Gary Cromwell, swine nutritionist from the University of Kentucky; Kaye Whitehead, a pork producer from Muncie, IN; Mike Lemmon, a veterinarian and producer from Albion, IN; and Don Jones, an agricultural engineer at Purdue University.

The panelists reviewed more than 50 products nominated by trade show exhibitors. They selected 12 practical production tools and futuristic technologies during their tour. The products are listed in no particular order.

If you would like more information about any of these products, circle the appropriate number on the reply card after page 48 and return it to National Hog Farmer.

Water Waste Cut by Bite Ball Valve

The bite ball valve requires pigs to take the entire nipple waterer into their mouths to drink, thus reducing water wastage.

The Swedish company AquaGlobe has patented the valve. Mattias Olde, marketing manager, explains that research at the Swedish Institute of Agricultural Engineering found 40% less water waste with the bite ball valve when compared with a conventional nipple waterer.

The valves come in 3/8-in. and 1/2-in. sizes for small pigs and 1/2-in. and 3/4-in. sizes for grow-finish hogs and sows. A nursery-sized trainer model is available with an adjustable needle valve to allow the water to drip and entice nursery pigs to drink. Cromwell notes that this feature would help newly weaned pigs locate their water source.

Whitehead asked if feed residue could clog the unit by sticking to the ball. Olde notes that the stainless steel ball rolls continuously, and therefore, it is self-cleaning.

Water pressure can range from 29 to 58 psi on the units recommended for pig use. Dealer prices for the waterers range from $6 to $9.

"The slick thing is that the animal has to take it into its mouth to get water," says Jones.

(Circle Reply Card No. 102)

Pork America Reviewed

The panel members reviewed the national pork cooperative, Pork America.

The initial membership drive for the cooperative closed June 30.

"The co-op is designed to change the way producers think about marketing - from marketing hogs to merchandising pork," explains Linden Olson, a Pork America board member and producer from Worthington, MN.

One of the goals of the national effort is to organize the numerous local, state and regional value-added projects started by pork producers.

"These groups realize they have to work together to be more effective and efficient," Olson says.

Another key goal is allowing producers to price their pork as close to the retail market as possible, thus capturing more profits.

Marketing concepts connecting producers to packers and retailers may help Pork America reach this goal.

The co-op represents an undisclosed number of producers with more than 5 million hogs. The goal, Olson says, is to represent 20 million to 25 million hogs in the next three to five years.

To join Pork America, producers pay a $500 non-refundable membership fee. The optional hog registration fee is $500 for the first 5,000 head registered and $100 for each additional 1,000 head of hogs.

Lemmon notes the independent pork industry is turning back to the same grassroots effort that drove the formation of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in the 1960s.

"This is the first grassroots effort since we started NPPC," he says.

(Circle Reply Card No. 103)

Generic Saves Drug Costs

Durvet Inc. introduced Prostamate during the World Pork Expo.

Mark Ficken, sales manager for Durvet, explains that Prostamate is the generic version of dinopost Prostaglandin F2 alpha. A 5 mg./ml. concentration is used to induce farrowing.

"As patents expire, producers are given a choice of name brand or generic," he says. "It is no different than the choices at a drug store. The only difference is value."

Ficken explains that Durvet has privately labeled the generic pharmaceutical from Phoenix Scientific. Phoenix secured an abbreviated new animal drug application (ANADA) from FDA in 1999. The ANADA means the generic drug passed the required laboratory tests.

The FDA has approved the drug for intramuscular use. Prostamate is packaged in 30-ml bottles at a retail price of $14-$15/bottle.

Cromwell asked about the difference in cost between the name brand and generic products. Ficken estimates the difference of $1-$2/bottle in the retail prices. He notes that the company's goal is to save producers from 25-30% on drug costs.

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Binwacker Remedies Problem of Fed Bridging in Bins

Chris Birky, a Kouts, IN, pork producer, built a new finishing building in 1994, investing in the latest technology aimed at improving feed efficiency. But his efforts were tripped up by the feed bridging in the bins.

"There is nothing more frustrating than coming home from the field and finding empty feeders," he explains.

Birky's answer to the problem is the Binwacker - a system of gears, shafts and bearings that drive a rubber striker, which taps the outside of the feed bin boot. The tapping causes enough vibration to dislodge the feed and get it flowing again, Birky says.

The Binwacker is mounted on a 3/16-in. steel plate and attaches to the feed bin boot with four bolts. A hub and sprocket are attached to the auger shaft and the Binwacker runs simultaneously with the auger. The sprocket drives a shaft that trips the Neoprene rubber striker, which taps the bin.

The product is available for bins with 30 degree or 90 degree boots and comes with a safety shield. Electronic drives for each model will be available by fall, Birky says. Each unit costs $250.

Whitehead acknowledges Birky's frustration of using a rubber mallet to dislodge feed. "I've been there, and I know this frustration," she says. "The Binwacker seems to be low maintenance and is based on a simple concept."

Jones notes that old-fashioned ingenuity solved a common problem for producers.

"This is what you would expect a pork producer to do," says Jones. "While he's standing there tapping the side of the bin, he figured he might as well automate the rubber mallet."

(Circle Reply Card No. 105)

Orion Lights up the Barn

Orion Lighting displayed new confinement building lighting fixtures at the show.

The universal light unit comes as either a hardwire unit for new construction or a retrofit unit for older buildings, according to Josh Kurtz, customer service representative for Orion.

The hardwire unit sells for $10.25 and the "jelly jar" retrofit unit (which threads into the existing light socket) costs $12.25. The Orion full-spectrum fluorescent bulb and electronic ballast unit can be installed as an upgrade for $17. The electronic ballast allows producers to dim the fluorescent lights. The 10,000-hour replacement lamp is guaranteed for a year and the 65,000-hour ballast for two years.

Kurtz notes that the universal units may be used with regular incandescent light bulbs. Using a 60-watt bulb, the Orion light produces more light than a 100-watt bulb in a jelly-jar light fixture.

The light units have a polycarbonate housing with special UV inhibitor, are rust-proof and are power-washable.

Whitehead notes that the Orion system lights recently were installed in nursery units on her farm.

"It's bright in that barn. It is a more pleasant unit to work in if it is well-lit," she said.

(Circle Reply Card No. 106)

Programs Add Production, Financial Standards

The panel reviewed two software programs that integrate NPPC Production and Financial Standards into information management systems. Both programs will connect via the Internet to the national standards database.

S&S Programming has a target release date of Sept. 1 for the Herdsman 2000 software, according to Keith Schuman, president and CEO of the company.

FBS Systems, Inc. previewed its e.Clipse program at the show, says company president Norman Brown.

Herdsman 2000 is a Windows-based program that will be available in five graduating levels to fit individual operations. The commercial version tracks data for breeding, farrowing, grow-finish, kill sheet, sow, AI and feed management. The breeder version allows producers to track ultrasound scanning, carcass, pedigree and genetic evaluations. Both versions combine production data with financial data based on NPPC standards.

"This program allows you to track commercial data and apply it to financial data," Schuman says. "This is the first new production program built from the ground up around Production and Financial Standards."

The cost of Herdsman 2000 has not yet been determined, Schuman says. Minimum configurations for the program are IBM compatible with 32-MB RAM, Windows 95, 98 or Windows NT 4.0 or higher. For better performance, an IBM-compatible 166-MHz Pentium computer or higher with 64-MB RAM is recommended.

E.Clipse is a Windows-based, management information system based on the pork industry's call for integrated production and financial data, Brown says.

"Producers have the production data, but have to be able to tie it to the financial data," Brown says.

E.Clipse automates inventory valuation, cost analysis and management reporting by each production stage and group. The system also integrates Internet links with the NPPC Production and Financial Standards database and permits e-commerce links with buyers and suppliers. The program also incorporates Promis, a management information system that links PigCHAMP records to the cost accounting program.

"Through its unique integrated design, e.Clipse unites all components of the NPPC Production and Financial Standards in a single management system," Brown says. "It's the only way most producers will have time to adopt managerial accounting standards."

The cost of the program is variable depending on farm size and application. Computer configurations recommended for e.Clipse are an IBM-compatible computer with a 500-MHz Pentium 3 processor and Windows 95, 98, NT or 2000.

Panel members asked Brown what producers need to do to use Production and Financial Standards. Brown suggests they work through the NPPC training program to understand the value of the standards to their operation. Next comes the purchase and implementation of software programs.

"The goal is to provide benchmarking opportunities for producers," says Lemmon. "It is not the investment in hardware or software; it is the investment we have to make in ourselves."

"It's going to take time, training and effort on the part of producers," says Whitehead.

(Circle Reply Card No. 107)

Vac-Marc Vaccination System Provides One-Shot Protection, Identification

The Vac-Marc vaccination system allows producers to vaccinate and mark an animal with one squeeze of the syringe trigger.

The system from Vac-Pac has a can of marking spray mounted on top of the syringe.

As the vaccine is administered to the animal, a lever at the back of the unit also presses on the can, thus marking the animal with a spot of ink. Kim Quinn, Vac-Pac president, says that the unit will not mark the animal unless a full dose is administered.

The company is working with large integrators and pharmaceutical companies to coordinate colors on vaccine bottles with that of the entire Vac-Pac system, including the marking ink, Quinn says.

With color-coordination, workers can always distinguish which vaccine or antibiotic they are administering, and managers can more easily give vaccination instructions.

Lemmon notes color-coding antibiotics and vaccines would help producers know which injections animals had received.

"We would have the antibiotics be red and the vaccines would be blue or green," Lemmon says.

The ink is offered in five colors, allowing producers to color-code antibiotics and vaccines or use the colors to identify day of the week. The ink marks last seven to 10 days.

Lemmon likes the accountability the system creates. By the ink marks on the pigs, the producer can tell if an employee injected all of the animals, if the injection was in the appropriate location or which day the pen of hogs was vaccinated or treated.

The entire system costs $64 and includes the Vac-Marc syringe, 4-ft. hose, bottle protector, needle deposit bottle, two cans of marking ink and an extra bottle protector.

The 2-cc. or 5-cc. units are adjustable in 0.25-cc. and 0.5-cc. increments. The Vac-Pac, with both belt and arm models, comes in 100, 250, 500 or 1,000-cc. sizes.

The cans of ink cost $5.50 and contain 250-300 marks/can for a per-mark cost of 1.5 cents - 2 cents.

The cost to add the Vac-Marc to an existing Vac-Pac system is about $25.

The marking apparatus itself would be useful for marking pigs for sorting, marking sows at breeding time and many other purposes, Cromwell noted.

(Circle Reply Card No. 108)

Protein Product Introduced

American Protein Corporation (APC) featured its new, water-soluble globulin protein product, Solutein, at the show.

Proper management of Solutein targets the critical first days after weaning when pigs often have a low feed intake, according to Bart Borg, director of product development for APC.

"We put the product in the water because pigs will continue to drink even if they don't eat," he says.

The goal is to have pigs consume 0.2 to 0.3 lb. of Solutein during the first 7-14 days after weaning, Borg says. He indicated that seven trials, conducted during product development, utilized 1,240 pigs and found 34% improvement in average daily gain, 15% improvement in average daily feed intake and 16.1% improvement in feed-to-gain ratio. The research compared pig responses to Solutein versus water.

The cost of the product varies with application; therefore, Borg estimates the cost from 20 cents to $1/pig.

Lower cost management may be to use Solutein for sick pens or the lower 20% of a group to reduce size variation. Higher costs may be incurred when Solutein is added to the water for all pigs in a disease-challenged situation, for example.

"It's got the most value in the first few days when the pigs are not eating feed," Cromwell says, agreeing that the best benefit may be for the smaller, slower-growing pigs.

(Circle Reply Card No. 109)

Scope Streamlines AI

Struthers, Inc. introduced the patented Gourley Scope.

Dennis Gourley, DVM, created the fiberoptic scope intended for artificial insemination (AI) of livestock and exotic animals.

AI technicians use a conventional AI pipette to guide the scope to the cervix. The scope then allows the technicians to navigate the cervical canal and deposit the semen directly into the uterus.

Gourley says the new breeding procedure has multiple advantages. Breeding time is reduced to an average of 2.3 min./sow, backflow of semen is virtually eliminated and sows can be inseminated in either standing heat or refractory without boar exposure. Labor is saved because technicians do not have to stimulate sows or move boars.

In addition, trials have shown semen count can be reduced to 1.5 billion-2 billion/dose; conception rates can improve by 5-8% and producers can expect 0.8 to 1.3 more pigs born alive/litter. Elite Visions, LSG Norsvin and Continental Plastics collected these research results in an effort to compare the new Gourley Scope AI procedure with conventional AI.

Additional advantages to the Gourley Scope include diagnosis of uterine infections or retained pigs, non-surgical embryo transplants and better utilization of frozen semen, Gourley says.

The unit costs approximately $2,500. After inseminating about 50 sows, most technicians have mastered the procedure.

"If it does what they say it does, $2,500 is worth it," Lemmon says. "This is an opportunity to affect farrowing rates by a larger margin than anything else I know of to try right now."

Whitehead expressed concern whether the scope would work under all breeding conditions.

"Not everyone has crates. Some producers AI in a pen situation," she says. "There might be more of a challenge on those farms."

(Circle Reply Card No. 110)

Robot Power Washer Handles Mundane Job

Adkins-Werntoft NA, Inc, presented the TM Pigs 820 robot power washer.

The robot has a stainless steel frame, waterproof controls and four spray booms, each with two fully adjustable nozzles. The unit has a 220-volt, three-phase motor accompanied by a four-wheel chain drive. The nozzles operate at 2,200 psi with a flow rate of 5 gal./min. (gpm). The unit crawls at 1 ft./min. in low gear and 2 ft./min. in high gear. The cost of the machine is $32,000. The power washer is made in Sweden by Werntoft and distributed in the U.S. by Adkins-Werntoft NA Inc.

Tom Coble, sales representative, explains that the robot completes about 90% of the wash job on three passes through the barn.

An Adkins-Werntoft test on a 52-crate farrowing room found that the machine required three to four hours of cleaning time plus another three to four hours of manual power washing to finish cleaning the corners and undersides of crates, feeders and pen dividers.

Lemmon estimates it takes 15 minutes of washing time/crate with a manually operated power washer. He figured 12 to 15 man-hours to clean a 52-crate room.

"It probably is not practical for the vast majority of producers. But the concept of a robot cleaning, that is enough to excite anybody who spends 10, 12 or 15 hours a week power washing," he says.

(Circle Reply Card No. 111)

Delta RS-1 System Separates Manure

Agpro and Delta Livestock Systems had a Delta RS-1 separator system operating at World Pork Expo.

While the display system was only separating wood shavings from water, it showed the new product panelists how the separation process works.

Mark Dawson, dairy and swine waste management specialist for Agpro, explains that the unit separates as much as 50% of solids from manure. The unit is capable of processing scraped manure with as much as 10% solids and creates a 50% drier cake than conventional static screen systems, he said.

The RS-1 separator has a capacity of 150 gpm for scraped manure with 10% solids and 300 gpm for flushed manure with 4% solids. The system is made of stainless steel. Dealer price is $27,500.

Jones notes that the stainless steel sieve and compression rollers are keys to the unit's ability to agitate and separate manure. He says that reports from the University of Missouri show that about 25% of solids can usually be removed with mechanical separation systems.

"The real limitations for all settling and separation units are that they just can't get the real fine solids out," Jones says. "That's where a lot of the nutrients are, and that's where the problems with pumping are."

The system works with shallow pull plug or flush pit systems but not with deep pit handling systems.

(Circle Reply Card No. 112)